“Speed-faithing” opens dialogue on different faiths and traditions

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“Speed faithing” is like “speed dating”. The Interfaith Student Council joined students of different religions — or lack thereof — to discuss their beliefs in the Reflection Center Feb. 28. The event gave students the opportunity to learn about another religion in a casual setting complete with food, drink and conversation. The questions were simple and encouraged participants to look beyond their personal beliefs to try and understand another’s.

“It’s kind of a less intense way to introduce people to interfaith work,” said Christian Van Dyke, co-president of the ISC. “When…it’s more of like a lecture setting, it takes a special person to initially be intrigued by a lecture…We’ve been looking for ways to be less intense and more laid back and organic.”

The speed dating format usually entails people pairing up and spending one to two minutes discussing the questions. However, instead of pairing up, participants sat in a circle together and were asked questions as a group. This created an open discussion among different people of various religious backgrounds.

“I really love talking to other people about their faith and their traditions. I love sharing my own. I feel like when we do it in an environment that’s safe, we’re able to create bridges rather than tearing them down [creating] trenches,” said Malley Weber, a junior in secondary education and council member.

The ISC strives to create respectful and open dialogues in an area that is predominately LDS. It encourages folks of different faiths and traditions to engage in polite discourse about their personal beliefs.

“The council is a student organization that aims at exposing UVU students to different viewpoints, beliefs, philosophies and religions to foster an appreciation for their richness,” said Gabriel Toscano, a senior in philosophy and council member.

“I feel like I’m understanding my own religion better, and, like, a connection to other people …I tried this out and really liked it,” said Lucas Draney, an anthropology major.